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Scott Faulkner end13aThe 2013 BTRDA Rally Championship season drew to a close in October on the Cambrian Rally. Unfortunately, the engine problems that Scott and the SFRallying team encountered on the previous rally had, as feared, put an end to their 2014 championship hopes. Additional sponsorship was desperately sought through the month of October as a new engine unit was required – however, the dream was over when the team realised that the initial 2013 budget would not cover a new engine and no further support was found to pay for the repairs.

It hasn’t all been doom and gloom for SFRallying; looking back at the 2013 season has many positives for the young up-and-coming team from the Midlands – however as with all forms of sport – there were a number of character-building moments too. The team would quickly learn that the season would not be plain sailing.

The season began with Scott and Dom’s first ever rally together, the Wyedean Rally in Chepstow. Not only would it be the first time the pair would sit together but it was the first time Scott drove on gravel since 2008 – and all in the unfamiliar Mitsubishi Evo 9 the team had prepared for the new season. The rally went exceptionally well for the new paring; finishing 21st overall and a very respectable 4th in class N4. The team, delighted with this result, were now looking forwards to improving on this as the season progressed into round 2.

Another impressive 27th overall and 5th in class N4 on the Malcolm Wilson Rally brought another haul of championship points for the team. Bearing in mind that previous world rally champion Malcolm Wilson and his Son Matthew both took part in the event also, Scott and the left the Lake District based event with another solid finish and smiles all round!

The third round of the season would be one of the highlights for Scott and Dom, as the pair would show real pace through the technical forests on the Somerset Stages. Even with a puncture through SS1, the team set some very impressive stage times to bring the car home 13th overall and 2nd in class N4; a first podium finish for the team! This left them sitting pretty – leading the Group N Production Cup by 12 points and lying 4th in the overall BTRDA championship heading into the fourth round of the season!

Scott Faulkner end13bThe Plains rally was next; using classic fast and flowing Welsh stages such as Myherin, Hafren and Sweet Lamb. With many more experienced drivers entered, the     team knew points would be hard to get. A pragmatic and calculated approach to the event delivered 20th overall and 6th in N4 – a mediocre result for the team.

On to the Dukeries Rally; which started well, the pair lying 13th overall and 3rd in N4 at lunch. However, in SS8 a rear brake pipe split causing brake failure and also a fire as the brake fluid spilt onto a hot brake disc. The fire was quickly put out but the car could not be repaired before SS9 and the team would retire from their first event. The hottest day of the year would greet the teams in July for the Nicky Grist Stages. Another character building event for the SFRallying team as the fuel pump would fail this time, causing their second retirement in a row. 0 points again meant the team was starting to slip down the championship table heading into the second half of the season.

The Woodpecker rally would bring an abrupt end to the 2014 season for the SFRallying team. Their high hopes dashed when a stage 4 engine failure ended not only their rally this time, but the rest of the championship! The fuel pump failure on the previous event may have caused some damage to the engine beforehand, meaning that failure was imminent.

“It’s a very sad end to the year for us” claimed Scott, reflecting on the 2013 season. “It’s only our first year rallying in the BTRDA championship, so having been leading the Production Cup and lying 4th in the overall BTRDA championship after 3 events fills me with lots of confidence for next year. Our pace will only grow as I become more comfortable with the car and with Dom respectively. We’ve shown we have good consistency on the rallys that we did finish this year, and I just hope we can secure a deal to have another attack on the championship for 2014!”

Scott would like to take this opportunity to again thank all the people who have given their time and efforts to make this year’s championship campaign possible. A massive thank you needs to go to Scott’s Father John and his service crew and close friends Richard Lloyd, Dave Lloyd, Richard Quigley, Sam Browne and Paul Dawes for their support on events – without whom the car would never leave the garage. A huge thanks must also go to the team sponsors for 2013 – Brian Miles at CAB Automotive, Tony Robinson at the Professional Motorsport World Expo, Chris Timmins at C1-R and Wayne Sisson at Arnside Motorsport; again, without whom, none of the successes of 2013 would have been possible.

Scott is already looking forwards to the 2014 season, making plans to get the engine fixed over the winter and to get the car prepared for the first round next year – the Wyedean Rally taking place on the 15th February 2014. All the 2014 rally dates are now available on the SFrallying website.

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